Whats On

 

Coming Up At MAS:

The Stargard observing night scheduled for Saturday (1st April) is likely to change due to another event at the Sports Ground but a final decision on which night to hold Stargard will be dependent on the weather clearing.

Date

Day

Event

Event Summary

Times*

1st Apr Sat Stargard
At The Oaks
Members Private Observing Night. SS 6.50 pm
MS 10.08 pm
8th Apr Sat Public Observing Night
At Campbelltown Rotary Observatory
From 6.30 pm. Preceded by a public astronomy lecture at 5.30 pm - full details below. SS 5.41 pm
FQM
22nd Apr Sat Stargard
At The Oaks
Members Private Observing Night. SS 5.24 pm
MR 2.23 am
24th Apr Mon Annual General Meeting
At Western Sydney University
Election of Management Committee for 2017-18 7.30 pm sharp
28-29th Apr Fri-Sat The Forest.
At Belanglo State Forest.
New Moon Weekend.
Members Private Observing.
SS 5.16 pm
29th Apr Sat lluminArt Festival
Picton
Details of MAS involvement to come Start: 4:00pm
End: 9:00pm
         
  • *Time Key: SS = Sun Set; MS = Moon Set; MR = Moon Rise; FQM = First Quarter Moon all evening.

  • Before Setting Out: If an event is in doubt, members should check (i) here; AND (ii) your Private Messages; AND (iii) MAS Facebook page.

  • More: Details of Macarthur Astronomy Forum, members private observing nights and public nights are lower down this page; see also our 'Maps' page; and the 'Field Etiquette' page.


Dual Public Events on Saturday 8th April!

1. Public Lecture

5.30 pm sharp at WSU

Campbelltown Rotary Observatory has invited Don Whiteman (Binocular & Telescope Shop) to give a talk on Telescopes on Saturday 8 April 2017, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Lecture Theatre 3, Building 21, Western Sydney University. Don is one of Australia's foremost experts on optical equipment for amateur and professional astronomy purposes.

This lecture will be ideal if you are considering purchasing a telescope or if you are simply interested in brushing up on how they work. 

Public parking for the lecture is available in the large car parks P6 or P11 (see map of University) but you must not park in the residential Car Parks P10 or P12. 

After the lecture it will take a few minutes to walk up to the Observatory Building 29.

2. Public Observing Night

From 6.30 pm at Campbelltown Rotary Observatory

In collaboration with the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory and Dr Ragbir Bhathal (Western Sydney University), MAS will be conducting a public observing night at the Observatory in Macarthur Heights on Saturday 8th April (from 6.30 pm). We hope that you enjoy a very pleasant evening with us as we show you our Universe!

Weather: the event is weather permitting. Closer to the date we will post a weather outlook right here. If conditions are in doubt due to inclement weather, please check this page for announcements before leaving home. The event is predominantly outdoors, so please bring warm clothing.

Location: the twin-domed Campbelltown Rotary Observatory is located near the corner of University Drive and Milky Way, Macarthur Heights. For a detailed map, please visit our "On The Map" page from the top menu above.

Getting There: the Observatory should only be approached via Goldsmith Avenue. Turn right at University Drive and drive up to Milky Way and you cannot miss the Observatory. Please do not park in the University or attempt to drive up to the Observatory.

Parking: Street parking will be available in University Drive and Milky Way.

Accessibility: the Observatory is reached via a public stairway from University Drive or Milky Way. People with disabilities are advised to contact the Society in advance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information regarding potential accessibility to the site and possible use of the telescopes.

Public Admission: there is no need to book and there will be no entry charge. However, if you enjoy the evening, MAS will gratefully accept a gold coin in our black donation box.

Children: families with children are welcome to attend. We simply request that you keep your children with you at all times and instruct them not to touch the telescopes.

Safety: the pursuit of astronomy requires a dark environment and attendance is at your own risk. We can accept no responsibility for accidents that occur. 

Lighting: There will be some moonlight on this particular evening. Limited red safety lighting is provided near the observatory. If you choose to bring a torch, please avoid glare when near the telescopes by covering it with red cellophane. We request that you do not use flash photography. Thanks.

Telescopes: both of the Observatory Domes will be open, with their 16” and 12” diameter Meade LX-200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. In addition, MAS members will have a number of their own private telescopes set up for the public to view through.

What's Up: our multiple telescopes can show you numerous interesting night sky objects which are up on the night, including the Moon and Jupiter.

Dress: please ensure that you wear warm clothing. The observatory is exposed and the temperature is likely to be very cold.

No Facilities:  please note carefully that there are no toilet facilities at the Observatory. We regret this.

Details: if after reading this you have any queries about the event, please contact MAS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Appreciation: Macarthur Astronomical Society acknowledges the co-operation and support of Western Sydney University for this event.


 

Macarthur Astronomy Forum

Third Monday of The Month

 

  

7.30 pm Monday 24th April

Room 213, Building 30,

Western Sydney University

Campbelltown Campus,

Goldsmith Drive, Campbelltown

  

 

ANNUAL

GENERAL

MEETING

 

      

Forum Details

Macarthur Astronomy Forum is held in the small lecture theatre in Building 30 (School of Medicine) at Western Sydney University, Campbelltown Campus. We meet on the third Monday of the month (Jan-Nov) and second Monday (Dec).

The Forum is organised and conducted by Macarthur Astronomical Society and we acknowledge the support and cooperation of Campbelltown Rotary Observatory and Western Sydney University.

Public Welcome

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the Forum. We do not charge admission but your gold coin donation in our black box (at the front of the auditorium) would be very gratefully accepted. 

To get there, please view our On The Map Menu at the top of this page. 

Refreshments

We provide self-service coffee, tea and biscuits at 9.30 pm after the Forum at a charge of $2.00 per head and conclude at 10.00 pm.

Speakers Coming Up Soon  

Please see our Guest Speaker page for a full list of guest speakers, past and present.  

  15th May

 

19th June

 

 

 

     

                                         
   

Prof Fred Watson
(AAO)

 

 

 Prof Andrew Hopkins
(AAO)

 

 

 

 

MAS Public Outreach Events

Winter Session of Public Nights for 2017

In collaboration with the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory and Dr Ragbir Bhathal (Western Sydney University), MAS will be conducting our first public observing night for 2017 at the Observatory in Macarthur Heights from 6.15 pm on Saturday 8th April.

Further details of this public event will be posted two weeks prior to the event.

Picton "illuminARTe" Festival

Saturday 29 April 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Event information.

Details of MAS participation to be confirmed.

Camden Library Public Night

Wednesday 7th June 4.00 pm - 8.00 pm.

Further details to be advised in due course.

Astrofest SYD 2017

Saturday 1st July 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

This major event at University of Sydney will include telescope viewing; lectures targeting children and families; and a Planetarium show

Following a successful event last year, CAASTRO have now brought on board the University of Sydney’s Science Faculty to help make the next event bigger and better. Members and telescopes required.

Location : St John's Oval, Sydney University.

Special Macarthur Astronomy Forum

A Date For Your Diary

14th August - An Evening With The Stars

         
  Prof Maria Cunningham
(UNSW)
  Prof Tamara Davis
(UoQld)
  Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith
CSIRO
  Prof. Naomi McLure-Griffiths
(ANU Canberra)
  Prof Geraint Lewis
(USyd)
 

In collaboration with Campbelltown Rotary Observatory and Western Sydney University, MAS have been fortunate to secure a line-up of five of the most senior Australian astronomers - stars in their own right - to participate together in a special public panel style discussion about modern astronomy - what we know and what we want to know about the Universe.

Further details will be advised closer to the event.


MAS Organisation

2017-18 Financial Year

All 2016-17 memberships expired on 28th February. Renewals for 2017-18 are now well overdue. 

New membership fees, details and payment methods are all explained on our "Join MAS" page.

Members who have not yet renewed should contact Richard Curley as soon as possible, to avoid your membership being expunged

Management Committee 2016-17

Elected at the the May 2016 Annual General Meeting:

  President: Tony Law.
Vice-President: Stewart Grainger (Merchandise).
Treasurer: Richard Curley
Secretary (& Public Officer): Jack Goralewski. 
Committee Member: Henry Swierk (Membership). 
Committee Member: Mike Nicholas.
Committee Member: Carol McVeigh.

To contact a committee member please send an Inter-Member Message from the menu on the top left hand side of this page (you must be logged on) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2017 Annual General Meeting

The next AGM will be held on Monday 24th April 2017 at 7.30 pm. Please note that this will be the fourth Monday of April, to avoid the Easter Monday public holiday.

All positions (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and three Committee Members) will be declared vacant. Nomination forms will be made available in March. Nominations will close on 10th April.

Merchandise

Official MAS merchandise on sale for members: 

 

MAS Ball Point Pens Great value at only $5.00.   
MAS Coffee Mugs:  
$10.00.  
MAS Shirts:  black or navy (mens only, size M): $30.00.
MAS Beanies:  black $15.00. 
MAS Stickers: 100mm x 50mm five pack $2.00. 
MAS Sew-on Patches:  105 mm x 60 mm  $5.00
Prime Focus Magazine: Printed back issues for a gold coin donation.

Most items are available at the monthly Forum.

It is not always possible to bring every stock item to every meeting. 

Please contact Stewart Grainger by Private Message or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


MAS Astro Observing

Members Private Observing Nights

 

Forest weekends are held close to New Moon. Stargard is held on the second best weekend each cycle and public nights are usually held near First Quarter Moon.

Members must arrange their own transport and bring their own food, drink and warm clothing. It is also essential - for your own safety and that of others - that you bring a red torch with you to observing nights. You should arrive before sunset. Location maps of our observing sites are accessed via the menu at the top of this page.

If arriving late, make sure that your approach to the final gate is with only parking lights and ask someone to guide you safely into the observing area.

If weather conditions look doubtful, please check this page AND the Facebook page AND your Private Messages before leaving home and please ensure you have saved the relevant contact numbers on your mobile phone.

 

Please consider the needs of others around you, especially when using laser pointers, camera and computer monitors, car boot and interior lights etc. Please read our Field Etiquette page from the menu at the top of this page.


Stargard Observing

 

Stargard nights at The Oaks (adjacent to The Oaks Airport) are free to financial members and invited guests only. Please contact the President before inviting non-members to attend.

Beginners are particularly encouraged to observe at Stargard before progressing to the Forest. Members who have not yet purchased a telescope and  wish to familiarise themselves with what other members use are welcome to attend and seek advice from more experienced members.

Stargard observing dates are scheduled for one Saturday of each Lunar cycle, either the week before The Forest or the week after.

If a scheduled night is cancelled due to weather, another night may be selected.

 

Members are requested to always close the main gate and throw the bolt without locking it, to discourage entry by non-authorised people but permit entry or egress by members.


The Forest Observing

The Forest Cabin Under the Stars, copyright Tony Law  

The cabin at Belanglo Forest is our premier dark-sky observing site, normally open on the Weekend closest to the New Moon. Bring your equipment and observe or photograph our Forest sky which really has to be seen to be believed on a clear night. Limited sleeping accommodation is available but depending on the numbers is not guaranteed.

Non-members who are experienced amateur astronomers may be invited to attend the Forest, subject to prior clearance from the President.

Use of the site between Sunday morning and Monday morning will be dependent on the number of members each month who express a desire to attend. Members who have paid for two nights will get the third night free. 

Forest Charge for members: $20 for one night, $35 for two nights, third night free (per member), whether attending just for the evening or staying all night. Please see Ned Pastor or Tony Law on your arrival to make your payment and please try to have the exact amount. 

Charge for invited non-members: $25.00 for one night and $45.00 for two nights, third night free.

Free weekend: each financial member is entitled to one free Forest weekend per year. Bring your current membership card with you when you come to a New Moon Weekend and it will be punched, signifying that you've taken your free weekend.


 

MAS Online

Ask An Astronomer

We are always happy to answer your questions about amateur astronomy and assist you with advice about purchasing a new telescope. If you prefer to contact us privately, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join or watch the conversation with MAS members and friends from the broader astronomy community on the MAS Facebook Group or follow the MAS Twitter conversation.  Please 'share' MAS Facebook events to your own Facebook friends and don't forget to 'retweet' them to your Twitter followers.

Citizen Science - Our MAS Volunteer Scientific Computing Team

Use your idle computer time to help professional astronomers do scientific number crunching. 

Download the free software from  > Here <, then join one or more astromomy projects to run automatically in the background on your computer. You are in control of the amount of your computer's idle resources to dedicate to projects. Once started, don't forget to attach to our Team.

The table of team work credits updates daily. Please contact Roger Powell for friendly help on getting started.

You can see the past and current team members individual work credit totals > Here < and a statistical overview > Here <

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                      Macarthur Astronomical Society                                                                

 

     

The Guinness World Record for the most people stargazing at multiple venues at the same time is now Australia with 7,960 participants on 21st August 2015. This was organised by ANU across 37 locations in Australia, of which we at MAS were one.

 

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